In the past two months additional pressure from regulators has helped accelerate Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) adoption in everyday cars, both in the US and in Europe. First, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) published a ranking of Automated Emergency braking (AEB) equipment. This ranking is a reminder of the 2016 US pledge to equip all vehicles with AEB by 2022. Second, the European Commission mandated a list of ADAS equipment, including AEB, to be equipped in all European models, also by 2022. This acceleration of regulatory pressure is interesting to analyze in the context of Yole Développement publishing “Imaging for Automotive 2019”, where ADAS is a key driving force for camera adoption.
Why are the regulators on both sides of the Atlantic so involved? First, safety is a major trend for the automotive industry that helps sales. Second, car-related pedestrian fatalities have increased in the US in the last ten years, and the reduction in fatalities is slowing down in Europe. With an average car lifespan of 18-20 years, regulators have to act quickly if they want to counter this trend. Indeed, only 5% of cars are replaced every year. Today, the accumulated number of vehicles with ADAS level 1 and 2, which benefit mainly from camera-based AEB, is roughly 50 million units, which only represents 4% of all cars on the road.
The second reason for acting quickly and boldly is that AEB is now well proven to improve safety, reducing overall crash rates by 10-15%. This could translate into 3,000-4,000 avoided fatalities on each side of the Atlantic, every year, if all vehicles on the road were equipped with AEB. At best only half will be equipped with it by 2030, and therefore the European Commission is hoping for 25,000 lives saved within the decade. This objective is at the same time very ambitious and a relatively small fraction of the overall car-related death toll. Unlike the much talked about Autonomous Driving (AD) related fatalities that affected Tesla and Uber in 2016 and 2018, advances in ADAS are truly saving lives.
The future of automotive is nevertheless linked to AD. But with second generation ADAS just hitting the road in products like Mobileye’s EyeQ4, Toshiba’s Visconti 4, and Nvidia Xavier, safety could be much more central than it is right now. Some players, like Volvo and its AD joint venture Zenuity, show that safety could be the reason for increasing the level of autonomy and not just a byproduct. This also seems to be the message of the regulators. The industry, including car makers, tier one ADAS providers and automotive camera manufacturers could all benefit from this vision at a time when level 3 ADAS seem a distant unaffordable future for car owners. The AD dream appears far more realistic and immediately available, with Waymo, Baidu and GM’s robotic taxi efforts. This is another story – and you can find out about it and many more in our report, “Imaging for Automotive 2019”.
About the author:
Pierre Cambou has been part of the imaging industry since 1999. He first took several positions at Thomson TCS, which became Atmel Grenoble in 2001 and e2v Semiconductors in 2006. In 2012 Pierre founded Vence Innovation, later renamed Irlynx, to bring to market an infrared sensor technology for smart environments and interactions. He has an Engineering degree from Université de Technologie de Compiègne and a Master of Science from Virginia Tech. Pierre also graduated with an MBA from Grenoble Ecole de Management. In 2014 he joined Yole Développement as Imaging Activity Leader.
Imaging for Automotive 2019
Paramount to the future of safety and autonomy, the automotive imaging market is at a key crossroads.